Lightning, being a half-elf, is naturally charismatic; however, his charisma comes off in the form of snide comments and one-liners more than flowery language. Always loyal to his closest friend, he will always back up Thunder in anything he does. Lightning is not unusually cruel for a mercenary, he will kill enemy combatants but generally will not massacre innocents or bystanders. Also, he is not the type of mercenary that will do any job he is paid for no matter what. If Lightning doesn’t like an order he’s given or has a bad feeling halfway through a job he will quit if he can, and usually keep whatever money he was paid. He doesn’t see this as breaking some code or contract, but merely as mercenary survival instincts kicking in. Keeping the money is just payback for making him do something he didn’t sign up for. Mostly, though, he follows through with his missions as he is fond of discovering new places and fighting new enemies.
Lightning grew up in one of the few scattered forests that blotted the Vale. The forest was a safe haven for a few tribes of woodland elves who preferred to live in nature rather than in any of the bustling cities. Now fewer in numbers than ever, the elves rarely let younger members travel outside the forest bounds, not just for reasons of safety but also the tribes could not afford to lose any of their young to the “wondrous” life outside the forest. Lightning was raised by his father, the tribes eldest hunter, Lavin. Lightning’s mother was a wandering adventurer who sought shelter in the woods and received aid from Lavin. She stayed with Lavin thereafter and bore him a child. However, she had complications during childbirth and not even Elven magic could save her. The priest of his tribe made certain Lightning would make it through, and with that Lightning came into the world a half-elf.
Although his father gave him a proper elven name, it never suited Lightning’s taste; however, not wanting to disappoint his father, he wore the name for many years. Lightning’s father raised him as best he could. He taught him to read and write in both Elven and Common and taught him all he could about the world he knew. He was not a cold or unloving father, but he was stern and firmly set in elven traditions. Some of the other elven children accepted his dual heritage while others simply avoided him; however, his half-elf nature never let him feel sorry for himself. Lightning’s childhood was filled with scrapes and scoldings but any elf would say that the boy just loved adventure. Most elves said that although he never knew his mother he would always have her wandering spirit. He climbed trees, he got into scraps with other boys, and he generally broke any rule that he could. When he came of age his father decided to train Lightning as a tribe hunter in hopes that his boundless energy would be ebbed by the patience required for training. It was not. Lightning took well to sword training, but anytime he was on a hunt he made too much noise or shot too soon and ruined the hunt. This being the case though his father never let him quit. Lightning remarks this as the elven motto, “If at first you don’t succeed, keep trying; we live for hundreds of years so you’re bound to get it right one day.” As the motto said Lightning eventually became a capable hunter, although in less time due to the shorter amount of years he had. As he matured his wanderlust became greater and greater, but Lightning’s father would not allow him to leave the forest. The older Lightning grew the more frequently they had arguments about it, until it finally culminated in a fierce and boisterous confrontation. Angry and turbulent, Lightning crept out of his father’s house that night, left behind his elven name, and never looked back.
Life was harder outside the forest than he could ever imagine, but it was also filled with more adventure, discovery, and wonder than he ever dreamed of. His life outside the forest began awkwardly with Lightning still trying to learn the social norms of the rest of the realm. 20 years old and out wandering on his own, money quickly became a problem. Jobs were harder to find because he lacked the patience to keep a mundane job. That’s when he found his true calling, mercenary. He started by signing on with one noble or another. A protection detail or an escort mission to start with but he always enjoyed battle. Not knowing what to call him most mercenaries just called him Half-elf, but the mercs that saw him often referred to him as the Wanderer. His resume of mercenary jobs was longer than a horse by the time he reached the age of 24. He would take a job to protect something and then turn around and take a job to steal it after his first contract was over. Eventually he found his way to the Vitola noble house that was feuding with its rival the Cristors. The battles violent, bloody, and quick and Lightning did well in all of them. Years of honing his fighting skills and picking up techniques made him a fierce warrior.
In one of the last battles of the feud, of which house Vitola was winning, he found himself fighting alongside a large goliath swinging a maul wildly at oncoming soldiers and who looked just as pleased as Lightning to be in combat. After Lightning picked off a few of the weaker soldiers around the goliath they killed the rest of the soldiers and routed the attacking troops back into a retreat. Barely a minute after the battle ended the goliath turned to Lightning and remarked, “Those were my kills.”
“Which ones?” asked Lightning.
“The ones I hit first, then you finished,” replied the goliath.
“No, those count as mine.”
“No. I hit them first so they count as mine those are the rules.”
“Fine we’ll count them as team kills,” said Lightning.
“Team? What’s a team? Those are my kills they count towards my count.”
“A team? Are you serious? You know, work together, take on bigger enemies, and defeat harder challenges.”
“Wait wait wait. You mean if we’re a team I can kill greater enemies?”
”... Yes. That’s exactly what I mean.”
“Alright then we’re a team.”
And from that point on the goliath and the half-elf were known as Thunder and Lightning. Thunder because the goliath always charged into battle, maul first, making as much noise as possible, and Lightning because his quick strikes would either kill enemies or weaken them enough for Thunder to drive them into the ground. The pair made a career out of killing soldiers in their area of the vale and were paid handsomely for it.
Six months ago the duo joined up with a group called the Stormwolves, as Thunder figured that even more team members meant they could kill even bigger enemies. Asking Lightning what any of there names are now, he wouldn’t be able to tell you. They recently killed an orc warlord of some kind who was leading an army of goblins. He also saved some people and stole back some stuff, but he really only cared about defeating the orc. Now the group is hearing about an orc invasion on the dwarven capitol, and an orc invasion sounds fun to Lightning. Lightning is looking forward to killing some more orcs.